News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 27, 2010

Riley fifth-grader receives annual Cameron Langenfeld Character Award

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

RILEY — Riley Elementary School fifth-graders prepared for their graduation, waiting to hear which one would win.

Three years after the death of Riley student Cameron Langenfeld, the annual award given in his name still touches students as they reach the age at which he died.

Langenfeld, 11, was hit and killed by an automobile while riding his bicycle in 2007.

Kathy Deal, a principal intern at the elementary school, said Langenfeld is remembered as a “giver.”

“He brightened a lot of people’s lives,” she said, explaining that the award, now in its third year, has become part of the community.

Pam Bird, Langenfeld’s mother and a former teacher at Riley, said her son was a typical 11-year-old boy, but one who always wanted to help out. “You don’t do the right things for the recognition, for the pat on the back. You do it because it’s the right thing to do,” she said, explaining that the award is given to the student who most exemplifies that quality.

Recommendations emanate from throughout the school, and this year four nominees were offered up for the plaque, $50 savings bond and $25 Walmart gift card, presented by state Rep. Vern Tincher (D-Riley).

While holding the winner’s name, Bird explained that the two boys had in fact shared babysitters when they were babies, although she said they were too young to have remembered.

Dylan Price’s name was called as Tincher handed him the plaque, offering his own recollections of Langenfeld’s character.

Price, three years younger than Langenfeld, remembered him well from their days together at Riley. “He was a very nice person,” he said.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or